Reminiscing about our time in France makes our hearts (and tummies) yearn to go back. Upon arrival we immediately noticed the slower pace of Paris. True Parisians were easy to spot with their relaxed stroll and confident stature. It took us a little while but we finally got the hang of it. Stopping for a fresh baguette everyday wasn’t a quick stop before moving on with the rest of our agenda like it would be in the states, it is something to be enjoyed. Paris taught us to slow down and savor the little things in life. There is a quote from Thomas Jefferson that perfectly captures our visit to Paris:
A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.
There really is something magical about this city that reminds you to see the beauty in life. We learned to enjoy strolling around for hours allowing the city to tempt us with her beautiful alleyways, historic museums, corner cafes and whimsical parks.
Verona’s Favorite Memory in Paris:
Chasing pigeons in front of the Eiffel Tower
What we learned from our time in Paris:
Since I am not European, I had to adjust to the slow pace lifestyle of France. They take conversation seriously, especially saying hello right away. Life is about relationships first, not getting things done right away. I was told by a French friend of mine that you actually greet everyone in your department at work and chat slightly before you start your day. Those who don’t do this are not liked by others because its is offensive and comes off as non-relational.
Making friends despite language barriers : I am so grateful for our time with our new friends, Jean Luc and Frieda. Frieda is my mom’s best friend from Peru and Jean Luc is her French husband. They were so generous to host us and to our surprise, became dear friends. Living with them during our time in France afforded us a deeper experience than merely just being tourists. Our time with them taught us the importance of making time for relationship and connection despite language barriers. It was fun (and comical) speaking a mix of French, Spanish, English and hand gestures.
Craftsmanship: Living with Jean-Luc and Frieda and we quickly picked up on how often they refer to regions of France and where the best wines, cheeses, meats, caramels, you name it came from. You don’t buy something unless it comes from a certain region or it’s the best quality of that item. For example, Jean-Luc would never eat a crepe in Paris because to him, those are for the tourists, the real crepes come from Brittany. If you’re to enjoy something, enjoy the best version of it.
I love that there are pastries everywhere and that the people are really nice. The architecture is cool and I enjoyed walking through all the different parks. I hope to move there some day!
Jean-Luc and Frieda are a lot like my grandpa and grandma, no wonder they are friends. It was so fun being able to chase a lot of pigeons and there is this amazing place called Noglu that only has gluten free stuff. It was a very long walk to get there but we found a metro next to it so we could get there faster. There was also these cool street performer guys who danced and they were really good at it. Their amazing robotic dance moves inspire me and I hope to dance like them someday.